Measured Expectations For Saudi Arabia’s Green Falcons In Qatar

2 years ago
1 min read

WeSaudi Arabia will travel to the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ intent on matching their best performance in the competition: qualification for the last 16 in the USA 28 years ago.

The Green Falcons have undergone a major transformation since appearing at Russia 2018, with a new coaching team in place and several fresh faces having broken into the side.

Despite beating AFC heavyweights Japan and Australia in the course of a relatively straight forward qualification campaign, Herve Renard’s side have come under the microscope for issues in front of goal of late.

The Saudis lost a pair of June friendlies, against Colombia and Venezuela, by the same 1-0 scoreline. Three months later, meetings with Ecuador and USA both finished goalless.

There have been encouraging signs nonetheless in Saudi Arabia’s form as they begin their World Cup preparations in earnest. A 1-0 success against North Macedonia on 22 October was followed four days later by a 1-1 draw with Albania.


READ ALSO: Lucky Mexico Edges Under-strength Nigeria in Dallas

Renard’s team have the unenviable task of opening their Qatar campaign against Argentina. They subsequently tackle Robert Lewandowski and Poland, then complete their Group C programme with a game against Mexico.

Herve Renard’s approach and tactics
The Frenchman, who was in charge of Morocco at the FIFA World Cup Russia 2018™, is expected to employ his favoured direct, attacking style in Qatar.

Formerly head coach of Ivory Coast and Zambia, Renard was a stoppage-time equaliser from masterminding victory for Morocco over Spain at the competition four years ago.

Additionally, he defied considerable odds to lead Zambia to glory at the 2012 CAF Africa Cup of Nations.

Saudi Arabia’s Group C fixtures
22 November
Argentina-Saudi Arabia (13:00 local time, Lusail Stadium)

26 November
Poland-Saudi Arabia (16:00 local time, Education City Stadium)

30 November
Saudi Arabia-Mexico (22:00 local time, Lusail Stadium)

Prime Business Africa prediction: This group might seem evened out but Poland led on the front by Robert Lewandowski is almost certain to nick one of the tickets to the round of 16 unless it becomes an example of huge reputations getting tarnished as witnessed at some World Cups.

Argentina will pick the other ticket if not emerge Group C top side.


Izuchukwu Okosi is a Nigerian sports and entertainment journalist with two decades of experience in the media industry having begun his media journey in 2002 as an intern at Mundial Sports International (MSI) and Africa Independent Television (AIT), owners of Daar Communications Plc.


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